Carl Anthony, Coordinator of Theory Program

Paul Dickinson

Stefanie Dickinson




In addition to the Graduate School admission requirements, a satisfactory score on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and a satisfactory score on the UCA music theory entrance exam are required to be accepted into the theory or composition program.


The objectives of the Bachelor of Music in Composition program are to 1) provide students with the highest possible level of artistry in developing compositions from concept to finished product; 2) provide students with the ability to write and speak intelligently about their music, placing it in different musical, social, cultural and historical contexts; and 3) equip students with the skills necessary to present their work in a public recital or concert.


Composition students will 1) compose works in a variety of media, styles and forms; 2) create musical scores with notation and scoring appropriate to particular compositions; 3) discuss their works in classes, and other public forums, and write program notes for their pieces; 4) engage performers; then coach, rehearse, or conduct them in preparation of a public performance.


BM in Composition Application Requirements


Students must first apply and audition to be accepted into the BA in Music.  [See Audition Requirements here.]  Then, those interested in pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Composition should notify the Composition faculty during the first semester of the freshman year, take MUS 2233 Composition Class in the spring of the freshman year, and submit an audition portfolio of two or three pieces for different media at the end of the freshman year.  Successful completion of MUS 2233 with a grade of A or B, and a satisfactory audition are required for admission to the program.


BM in Composition Curriculum (132 hours total)


Music Core courses are used to satisfy the lower-division UCA Core requirement in Diversity in Creative Works and the upper-division UCA Core requirements in Diversity, Critical Inquiry, and Communication. MUS 1340 should be selected within the lower-division Core because it fulfills a UCA Core requirements and a program requirement. BM in Composition students will be taking MUS 4102, Senior Recital, as the required UCA Core capstone.

Applied Music (31 credit hours):

Composition applied: 20 credit hours
MUSA 2260, MUSA 2260, MUSA 4460, MUSA 4460, MUSA 4460, MUSA 4460

Instrumental vocal or keyboard applied: 8 credit hours

Minor applied: 2 credit hours
MUS 2133 Piano Class III
MUS 2134 Piano Class IV or other applied if piano proficiency is passed.

Recital: 1 credit hour
MUS 4102 Senior Recital [ UD UCA Core: Z ]

Ensemble Credit 6 credit hours:
Students must participate in a large ensemble for a minimum of 6 semesters. After the third semester of ensemble participation, students should register in 4000-level large ensembles. See specific requirements below. [7.2]

Theory (26 credit hours):

Any two of the upper-division theory classes satisfy the UCA Core requirement in Critical Inquiry.
MUS 1230 Harmony I
MUS 1231 Ear Training I
MUS 1232 Harmony II
MUS 1233 Ear Training II
MUS 2233 Composition Class
MUS 2430 Theory III
MUS 2431 Theory IV
MUS 3210 Counterpoint
MUS 3230 Form and Analysis
MUS 4210 Instrumental Arranging
MUS 4215 Choral Arranging

Pedagogy (2 credit hours):

MUS 3201 Instrumental and Choral Conducting

Technology (2 credit hours):

MUS 2210 Music Technology

History and Literature (9 credit hours):

MUS 1340 Introduction to Music Literature
MUS 3302 Music History I [ UD UCA Core: C, D ]
MUS 3303 Music History II [ UD UCA Core: C, D ]

Electives (9 credit hours)


For detailed information, please refer to the Undergraduate Bulletin [3.1.3], or contact Dr. Paul Dickinson.



Required Courses

MUSA 6Vxx Applied Lessons (1 credit hour)
MUSA 6Vxx Applied Lessons (1 credit hour)
MUSE 61xx Ensemble
MUSE 61xx Ensemble
MUS 6315 Theory Pedagogy I
MUS 6316 Theory Pedagogy II
MUS 6306 Thesis Research I
MUS 6307 Thesis Research II
MUS 6313 Music Research and Bibliography
Three of the following Music Theory courses:
MUS 5311 Introduction to Linear Analysis
MUS 6302 Analytical Techniques for Twentieth-Century Music
MUS 6314 Seminar in Music Theory (may be repeated for credit)
MUS 6317 Analysis of Music of the 18th and 19th Centuries
One of the following Music History courses:
MUS 6318 Music in the Romantic Period
MUS 6319 Music in the Twentieth Century
MUS 6320 Music in the Classical Period
MUS 6321 Music in the Baroque Era
MUS 6322 Music in the Renaissance
MUS 6323 History of Women in Music


At least three hours of the following:

MUSE 61xx
MUSA 6Vxx (1 credit hour)
MUS 6311 Score Reading
MUS 5V21 Special Problems in Music
MUS 6V05 Directed Graduate Study

Thesis Requirement

A thesis (6 hours) is required for the music theory concentration.


For detailed information, please refer to Graduate Bulletin [3.8].